Some Instagram users are apparently faking sponsorship deals in a bid to land #ads with brands in the future, The Atlantic says.
According to their report, wannabe bloggers and influencers are attempting to make themselves more attractive to brands by faking sponsored photos, in a bid to encourage real deals from advertisers in the future.
Lifestyle influencer Sydney Pugh admitted to faking sponsored posts in an interview with the outlet, most recently with a coffee she's bought in a local cafe.
"Instead of [captioning] ‘I need coffee to get through the day,’ mine will say ‘I love Alfred’s coffee because of A, B, C,’" Pugh told The Atlantic. "You see the same things over and over on actual sponsored posts, so it becomes really easy to emulate, even if you’re not getting paid."
She's not the only one, either - Instagram user Palak Joshi has purposely shared Instagram Stories of products that "looked sponsored", when they weren't.
Palak, who also admitted to faking sponsored Instagram Stories
Interestingly, while Instagram and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently changed their rules to make it very clear when influencers and celebrities have been paid to share a post, the report says there are no rules against people who aren’t paid captioning their photos to make them sound like paid disclosures.
The trick has been named 'spon-con', with many Instagram users hoping to encourage brands with money to spend on influencer marketing to invest in them by pretending to have done brand deals before.
Canny, or sneaky?
We have reached out to Instagram for a comment.
H/T Cosmo UK